Here at BurnTech, we cover technology which makes you fitter and healthier. A little understood, and often case undervalued aspect of being fit and healthy is your sleep. Technology is often castigated for making us sleep poorly. TV’s, iPads and smartphones are universally blamed for turning our brains on at the very time of day that we actually need to be encouraging them to turn off. So today, we wanted to help technology fight back – and we have identified a range of fitness and health technology which can actually help you slumber. Lets dive in
Phillips Wakeup Light Alarm Clock
We recently reviewed this fine bit of kit. The premise is quite simple. Rather than have a traditional alarm clock, which jolts you awake by juxtaposing itself from the still quiet night, the Phillips Wakeup light works differently. It uses a special lightbulb to gradually wake you up, starting half an hour before you set your alarm to go off. This light then intensifies, mimicking the rising sun to make you wake up in line with the body’s natural circadian rhythm. This plays hand in hand with the body’s natural wake/sleep homeostasis.
The net effect is that you wake up much more naturally then you would otherwise. As you’ll see on the next slide, this technology also helps you to nod off better. In the interim, you can read our review of the Philips Wakeup Light 3510 here (new tab) This represents the best mix of price point (c.£50/$80) and functionality in the market.
Bed time nightlight
I wanted to separate out this point form the previous slide, even if it is using the same bit of kit. However, whilst in the last slide we discussed the value of using the alarm to wake you up, the biggest selling point that we found was actually in the alarms capability to help you nod off to begin with. Its version of the traditional bedside lamp is much more in tune with the light waves that help us go to sleep. So out goes the bright traditional bulbs, and in-comes a lighter tone, which dims over a 20 minute period to help you fall asleep. This mimics the sun setting, naturally making us want to nod off. An undersold benefit to the Philips Wakeup range.
The NuYu Sleep System
This bit of sleeping technology is genius. It is basically a giant mattress topper which incorporates water flow in order to cleverly heat and cool your bed. Our bodies sleep optimally at different temperatures depending on the stage of our sleep cycles. Ideally, our bodies will be warm as we drift off to sleep, but then cooler as we hit rapid eye movement – or REM – sleep. This is the stage of deep sleep, and the more of it we get, the more refreshed we feel.
You ca use this NuYu pod to pre-set your bed temperature. So you can warm up the bed on a cold winters evening, or chill the bed after a long hot summers day. Once in bed, the technology takes over and does the rest. Once you start to approach your wake up time, the sleep pod begins to warm the bed up, gradually easing you awake.
Without a doubt this is one of the best bits of sleeping technology that we have seen so far in 2015. Click hear to read our NuYu sleeping system review.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
We reviewed the sleep cycle alarm clock app a while back, and have been avid users since. This app works with your smartphone to help you understand how well you sleep. You simply set the time that you would like to wake up and allocate a wake up window. You then set the smartphone onto the corner of your bed, and cover it up under the bed sheet.
As you sleep, the app tracks your sleeping patterns based on your movements – with surprising and almost scary accuracy. It then aims to wake you up at the perfect moment within your sleeping cycle, again helping to avoid jolting you awake with a sudden loud alarm. For the small fee, an app that we highly recommend, not least for sleep analysis
Misfit 2 Activity & Sleep Tracker
There is no shortage of great activity and fitness bands on the market which have made sleep tracking a core function within their service. We’re most exciting about the soon to launch Misfit 2, which is coming November 2015. The Misfit original had a very solid and comprehensive sleep tracking app, with commendable accuracy. When it comes to a fitness band, considering they all do cary this feature, its a case of ‘pick your poison really. We enjoyed the cool interface on the original Misfit, where you tap the screen and the clock face lights up to tell you the time. Its at a fair price point too, and you really can;t go wrong with this tracker in our opinion.
Lark in the dark sleep monitor
Lark in the dark is an interesting wake up band. Rather than screaming and shouting (or otherwise being an alarm clock) it instead vibrates gently to wake up up. We have a lot of nerve endings on our wrist, making it surprisingly sensitive. Sensitive areas work well to wake us up, and this device is actually surprisingly good. Priced in the $50 range, it is fairly expensive for what you get mind.